World renowned luxury car giant BMW’s advertisement for its new hybrid car BMW i3 has been banned by UK’s advertising watchdog for misleading content. The car, equipped with a small petrol engine, claimed to be ‘clean’ and ‘zero emissions’ in the ad.
The advertisement was published in the form of a Facebook post that used testimonials from real customers to extol the virtues of BMW i3. However, unlike “hybrid” cars, which have a petrol-driven engine that can take over from the electric system when it runs out of charge, on longer journeys or at higher speeds, the i3’s petrol engine is only used to maintain the charge on the electric drive.
BMW argued that the nature of the petrol engine, in maintaining charge for the electric engine rather than taking over from it when needed, meant its description – which came from a user – was accurate. The Advertising Standards Authority, however, took a different view and ordered the ad to be withdrawn.